Gustine native returns to show off jewelry collection

Los Banos EnterpriseJune 20, 2014 

Jewelry designer Caroline Rocha always knew she was a creative person. But she never knew her potential until she became a true artist, something she said she hid behind her whole life.

The Gustine native designs Swarovski crystal studded leather cuffs and sells them in areas around the world. She is set to make an appearance at a Trunk Show hosted by Pearson’s Jewelers from 5:30 to 8 p.m at 928 Sixth St.

Rocha, 50, is a Gustine High School graduate. She moved to Chicago sometime after graduation where she would draw and sketch things but never thought anything great about her work.

Later she was invited to do a study – spiritually related – and that was when she knew she was created to be an artist. “It was during that study that I realized everyone has a gift,” she said. “I was created to be an artistic person and I hid it my whole life.”

Soon after she began painting and sculpting anything and everything in sight, she said. “I couldn’t get enough of it.”

A trip to Los Angles was another career changing moment for her. She came across some pieces of plain leather while out and thought about painting them. She purchased a bracelet, painted it and put crystals all over it. “I was hooked from then on,” she said.

Rocha decided that she would buy the leather and cut each piece herself. “One bracelet lead to another and another,” she said.

It was her youngest sister who came up with the idea of selling the cuffs. At the time, Rocha was feeling a little reluctant to the idea. “All the insecurities and the childhood thoughts came back to me,” she said. “I said I wasn’t good enough to do that.”

But once her sister met with a buyer, Rocha said, her cuffs disbursed into four different stores. One of the first stores to sell her item was in downtown Disneyland, she said.

Now, six and a half years into the job, Rocha makes and sells her cuffs all over the county, including stores in England, Australia and Canada. Rocha says no cuff is like the other and that every cuff is signed by her. “I sit down and I let myself just paint,” she said. “Sometimes I sit down with an idea and sometimes it just flows out.”

Pearson’s Jewelers began carrying the line back in December, and owner Sherry Pearson said since carrying the line she has restocked the collection eight times.

“People that buy one want to buy another and another,” the jeweler said. “They want to buy one for every outfit.”

Rocha’s sister, who is a sales representative, will bring about 150 cuffs to show off at the Trunk Show. There will also be food and drink at the social event along with a special discount.

“It makes us very proud to be able to show her line and the fact that her roots are here close by,” Pearson said.

For more information about the Trunk Show, contact Pearson at (209) 826-1026.

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